Sippican Cottage…

I lifted this from Drjim at Every Blade of Grass

Wow….just wow.

Pardon me while I tear up.
My father was a Navy SeaBee in the South Pacific during WWII. He quite possibly helped build the airstrip where this man’s father took off and landed. My Dad never wanted to talk about it, either, except for an occasional comment he made while we watched “Victory At Sea” on Sunday afternoons.
Every time I read a story or post like this, the final line from “The Bridges At Toko-Ri” comes back to me.

“Where do we find such men?”

They were a special generation… Sadly, they are dying at a rate of 2600/month. Soon they will all be gone, and with them the foundation of our greatest generation.


Sippican Cottage… — 14 Comments

  1. The Greatest Generation, willing to sacrifice everything to make life better for future generations.

    Contrast that with what is going on now. It seems our generation is willing to sacrifice the prosperity of future generations to make life better for ourselves.

    Just doesn’t seem right.

    I am not trying to disparage our modern day heroes, and yes there are many. It is just too bad you can’t find them on capitol hill.

  2. Last year I was working in DC for a few months and brought my wife up with me. While there we made it a point to go to both the WW II and Vietnam memorials.
    I cannot begin to describe how thankful and proud I felt at both. I am thankful for the brave men and women that came before me.

  3. My father passed in Sept. 2003 of cancer. My mother, whom he had been married to for over 57 years, passed Dec 1999.

    They met while he was a Sgt. in Galveston in the Army Air Corp, 1942 and were married two weeks later. He was an engineer on B-17s and later 24s.

    Dad never spoke of his time in the Pacific much…save when he was drunk…which never happened after 1975 (massive heart attack). Dad loved to work on cars (mechanic by nature) and was a longshoreman.

    My wife is from the Phillipines. Dad thought I was nuts going to marry her…but Dad had a way about him…he let his kids mess up, take our licks…then made sure we learned from them.

    My wife offered many times for him to come visit her family but Dad always told her no…that he had no desire to go back to the South Pacific. He loved my wife like a daughter by the end of his life…probably more then me. He told me the best thing I ever did was marry her.

    She loved him even more then her own father too. And it took many years for her to understand why my father refused to go to her family and thier home. I had to explain it to her.

    Far to many ghosts.

    Dad was sick with malaria. He couldn’t go on the mission…doctor’s orders. His captain and the co-pilot had to hold him in bed for a bit…but he stayed. He told his nine friends that he’d buy them a round of drinks when they got back, and to bring his replacement with them so he could meet the sorry sod.

    His plane never came home.

    To his dying day, he felt another man died in his place. That somehow, some way, if he had been on that plane…they would have made it.

    He felt he betrayed his friends by living. Even my mother couldn’t shake that out of him.

    The mind boggles these days at that kind of spirit…it still exists, quietly, but, it is nowhere near as wide spread I think.

    And for that, we are all lessened somehow.

    Kinda reminds me of the film Gran Torino in a way…we are losing those that guard that.

    And there are fewer and fewer to take thier place I fear.

  4. JR- Point well made! I think no sane person wants to put themselves through that insanity just to get elected…

    KY- Agreed!

    SIM- Thanks for sharing that, and yours is not an uncommon story. My cousin was UDT, did Iwo and Okinawa, and to the day he died hated the Japanese with a passion… Same reasons…

    Fuzzy/ADM- Agreed

    Dingo- I just try to get these out there so that folks will remember

    My Dad was in WWI, then declared critical industry during WWII (he was in the oil field). He died when I was small, so the only things I have are bits/pieces my Grandfathers told me years after Dad died. I have been lucky enough to be able to attend events in DC and get a chance to talk to a number of vets, plus I’m a member of the Naval Aviation Museum, so I have gotten a chance to interact with a number of folks. To me, that has been priceless, because as a Vet, they have opened up to me.

  5. Granda was a Seabee in WWII, he always told Dad he never wanted his kids to be Sailors or mechanics.

    I’m sure I was a great disappointment to him (I was a Tomcat and Hornet AT).